Unbeaten British middleweight contender Martin Murraywants a crack at WBA and IBF beltholder Daniel Geale.
The 29-year-old from St Helens, Merseyside, has endured a frustrating 10 months since earning a draw against then WBA beltholder Felix Sturm in December 2011. Proposed title shots at Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (WBC) and Dmitry Pirog (WBO) both failed to materialize earlier this year leaving fed-up Murray kicking his heels.
But that could be about to change following Geale’s split decision over Sturm in Germany last month. Murray was ringside in Oberhausen and later approached the triumphant Aussie about a possible showdown.
“I spoke to Daniel Geale at the post-fight press conference and told him that I’m available to fight him, either in England or in Australia,” Murray said. “He said we’ll definitely be able to sit down and talk. To be honest, his team seem keener for him to come over here because I don’t think he gets the recognition he deserves in Australia and he’s proven that he travels well.”
Murray (23-0-1, 10 knockouts)was slated to face Chavez Jr. in June, only for problems obtaining a visa into the USA because of a criminal past making the bout a non-starter. Meanwhile, back at home, THE RING’s No.8-ranked middleweight has found domestic rivals quick to dodge him.
“I proved against Sturm that I belong at world level, but getting a draw was one of the worst things to happen to me,” Murray said. “If I’d won, everyone would have wanted to fight me because I’d be a world champion. If I’d got smashed, they’d have wanted to fight me because they’d think I’d be an easy night’s work.
“But proving myself has left me in no-man’s land. I think a world title shot is well overdue now.”
Murray’s promoter Ricky Hatton echoes that view, confirming that both Darren Barker and Matthew Macklin have sidestepped the chance to meet their countryman.
“We’re looking to big fights with overseas names for Martin because he’s a feared man in Britain,” said Hatton. “We’ve beaten all offers for a fight with Darren Barker but had no joy and we met all Matthew Macklin’s demands only for him to go elsewhere.”